The family of Payton Gendron, the main suspect in the mass shooting that took place in a Buffalo supermarket over the weekend, spoke out after Gendron’s arrest to blame his fear and paranoia over Covid-19 for what led him to allegedly commit the shooting that left 10 Black people dead and many more seriously injured.
In a surprising interview with The Post on Monday, Gendron’s relatives revealed that they believe the 18-year-old “snapped” and committed the atrocity in Buffalo on Saturday after isolating himself from the world during the Covid-19 pandemic and spending too much time inside visiting white supremacist websites.
“I have no idea how he could have gotten caught up in this. I blame it on Covid,’’ Sandra Komoroff, a cousin of Gendron’s mother, told the outlet. “He was very paranoid about getting Covid, extremely paranoid, to the point that — his friends were saying — he would wear the hazmat suit.”
“And then he got Covid just a few weeks ago…He went to family functions with a respirator mask on. He totally wasn’t going to get Covid — and then he got Covid,” she continued. “They were vaxxed to the max. I don’t know if it was a bad case, I just know he caught it.”
“That’s the only way to say it. And when you’re home all day on the Internet, you’re missing out on human contact,” Sandra added. “There’s a lot of emotions and a lot of body language you’re not getting [compared to] when you see their face.”
Making Payton’s relatives’ interview with The Post even more chilling is the fact that Dave Komoroff, Sandra’s husband, suggested that the 18-year-old shooting suspect’s positive Covid diagnosis affected Gendron’s “lizard brain” and caused him to get overly-aggressive and carry out the shooting at Tops Friendly Market on Saturday.
“In theory, [Covid-19] could have affected what they call the lizard brain — the part of the brain that controls aggression,” Dave suggested. “I can’t say it’s impossible, but maybe that would happen one out of so many millions of times.”
The shooting suspect’s relatives also revealed in the newly released interview that they had no idea Gendron was a white supremacist, nor that he had written a 180-page white supremacist manifesto promoting racist ideology and outlining specific plans for a massacre, but they also blame such a change in their young relative on the websites he visited while isolating from the pandemic.
“I don’t know where he went online — the dark Web, or wherever — but apparently he got into some nasty stuff,” Dave said. “He’s smart enough to get into dangerous stuff online, which maybe the average person wouldn’t know how to get into.
“I mean, I’m trying to figure it out myself.”
As Radar reported, Gendron was taken into police custody on Saturday shortly after using a rifle to open fire into the parking lot and inside the store of a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York.
10 people were confirmed dead and at least three more confirmed injured in the shooting that took place in a predominantly Black community, and the manifesto detailing the suspected shooter’s plan for the slaughter was found shortly after he was taken into custody.